Brockton teen who drowned in Plymouth pond remembered by sister as sociable, caring

Raphael Perez, the teen who drowned in a pond in Myles Standish State Forest Friday night, was a “very, very caring person’’ who had lived in Brockton since he was a young boy, his sister said Saturday.

State Police said Perez, 18, became “distressed’’ while swimming in Charge Pond in the Plymouth section of the forest, which also extends into Carver.

Perez was pulled to shore and CPR was attempted. He was then transported to Plymouth’s Jordan Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 9 p.m., according to State Police.

Monica Perez, 23, said in a phone interview Saturday that her brother loved hanging out with his friends, who would join him in water gun fights, bike rides, and recording rock music in a buddy’s studio. Perez lived with his sister and father in Brockton.

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“He always put others ahead of himself,’’ she said. “Hundreds of people have come already to give condolences. It was sudden and tragic.’’

Monica Perez was not at Charge Pond Friday night, but said she was told Perez drowned after assisting another swimmer who was struggling.

Perez was treated a couple of years ago for pseudoseizures, attacks that resemble epileptic seizures but have psychological causes, she said. Perez was generally healthy, however, she said.

Perez was at the forest on a camping trip with a Seventh-day Adventist church from Fall River, the sister said. Adults and children were present.

Funeral arrangements are pending, Monica Perez said.

Myles Standish, which is under the supervision of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, contains five camping areas and 16 ponds, according to the department’s website.

Charge Pond is a camping and recreational area within the forest, said S. J. Port, a spokeswoman for the conservation department, in a phone interview Friday night.

Swimming and boating are allowed from dawn to dusk at the department’s facilities, she said.

No lifeguard was on duty at Charge Pond, Port said, and that is posted on signs.

“We hope that people take caution,’’ she said.

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According to Port, buoys indicate designated swimming areas in the pond, and boating is allowed only outside those areas.

The bacteria levels in the water are tested by department staff, Port said.

Port was unsure how many campers were in the forest on Friday night, but said that campgrounds were not as full as they typically are during weekends in the summer.

In addition to State Police, state environmental police, Plymouth police, and the Plymouth Fire Department responded to the scene, State Police said.

The incident is under investigation by the Plymouth district attorney’s office, which did not return emails and calls Saturday.

Six years ago this July, an East Providence, R.I. man drowned in Charge Pond and another man drowned there in 1979.

Cesar Rosa, 23, was swimming in the pond with a friend when he drowned. In August 1979, Erick Bogarty, 29, an inmate at the Plymouth Forestry Camp, drowned in the pond while swimming during a break from work after apparently suffering a cramp.